26 May 2005

The kindness of strangers and friends

25052005I drove off for the office yesterday morning without a hitch. Upon arriving at the parking lot, I checked to make sure all doors were closed after the alarm beeped to announce it has secured everything. Then off I went for the office.

At 8PM, I was finally trudging back to the parking lot while talking to one of our principals on the phone for event preparations. The parking lot attendant waved to me. Something was wrong. My rear brake lights were on for the entire day! Uh oh. The battery must have been discharged.

I tried to disengage the alarm remotely. No beep. Uh oh. I had to cut my phone call short when my caller inquired why he was hearing a car alarm beeping incessantly when I manually turned on Blackie (the car's name).

As I was pondering what to do next (I just drive; I know nothing about troubleshooting), the owner of the car next to me arrived. He inquired what happened and immediately offered to help. He suggested making a series connection with his battery to resuscitate mine, and promptly took out the necessary cabling. He was discussing about my options and patiently explained the probable causes. I decided to call upon Francis as well (a good friend and colleague) in case he might be able to help. He was on his way to a basketball game but said he'll be right over.

A few minutes later, he arrived. I thanked the stranger for his trouble; he left the cable with us and requested the parking lot attendant to keep it after we're done with it.

To make the long story short, Francis successfully got Blackie running again, then he promptly left after making sure I will be fine. He advised keeping the engine running in half an hour to ensure that the battery gets re-charged sufficiently for the ride back home. While waiting, the attendant shared stories and kept me company.

I arrived home safely and promptly disconnected my battery, as the rear brake lights were still apparently on short-circuit mode.

It was an unfortunate incident, but at the same time I feel blessed for being at the receiving end of the kindness of strangers and friends. I'd like to thank the parking lot attendant (whose name I forgot to ask), Aries of Boehringer, and Francis Carigma. Pay it forward!
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